IM police: Teen moped users need a license, helmet

Have a kid buzzing around on a moped this summer? Well, not to throw a damper on a favorite summertime mode of transportation, but that could be illegal.

This came out Monday from Iron Mountain Director of Police and Fire Services Ed Mattson. For the sake of clarity, The Daily News is going to publish the statement in its entirety:

“The Iron Mountain Police Department would like to take the time to educate the public in reference to the use of mopeds. It appears that many parents are ignorant to the laws or do not care.

“What we want is everyone to be safe while operating mopeds. If a parent or guardian allows their child to operate a moped without a license, the parent or guardian can be issued a citation for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle.

“Everyone who operates a moped must either have a moped license or a driver’s license. To obtain a moped license, the person must be at least 15 years of age and obtain the moped license from the Secretary of State. If someone has a drivers license, which can be obtained at 16, they are considered qualified to operate a moped. A learner’s permit to drive a car with a parent or guardian does not qualify someone to operate a moped.

“Keep in mind that everyone who operates a moped under the age of 19 must wear a helmet.

The Iron Mountain Police Department has received numerous complaints about groups of moped operators driving carelessly within the city.

“The department’s goal is to keep everyone safe.

“If parents continue to allow unlicensed and unqualified kids to operate illegally, it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or killed.”

It doesn’t take a degree in physics to know that a moped versus any other vehicle is probably not going to come out the winner — or well. It’s not just police being sticklers for the law — though that is their job — but a need for the moped operator to know how best to handle that vehicle.

So, better make sure your son or daughter has the proper license and the proper equipment to operate a moped legally — and, more importantly, safely.